The University of Missouri's engineering school could see up to 50 new students thanks to a new undergraduate degree program.
The university's College of Engineering is preparing to launch a new biomedical engineering bachelor's degree program in the fall. The college will develop the program from coursework they said is currently one of the most popular areas of specialization within a general biological engineering degree, the Columbia Daily Tribune reported.
"I think we will be able to attract bright, new students," said Jinglu Tan, the Bioengineering Department chair who estimated the program will bring as many as 50 new students to the college.
Biomedical engineering jobs increased by 72 percent from 2010 to 2018, according to a news release about the program. Strong growth is expected to continue with the median entry-level salary at nearly $62,000 a year.
"Many biomedical engineering students do not become professional engineers," Tan said. "They are going into the biomedical industry, designing devices for medical equipment companies, or they go into pharmaceuticals. Some do research and some go to graduate school."
The engineering college is undergoing its re-accreditation process and will conclude when the college receives notice of the decision in August. The new program can't be accredited until it has produced graduates, said Danielle Baron, chief marketing officer for the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.
"That kind of puts you in a tricky situation" for recruiting "but the program won't be accredited until students have graduated," Baron said.
Tan said the first graduates could receive their degrees in December. Department officials expect as many as 150 of the current 250 students in biological engineering to transfer to the program.